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larry@deeder.com
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Backing up the backup server

Post by larry@deeder.com » Jan 06, 2010 10:42 pm

My Veeam backup server is a Virtual Machine. I am trying to backup the server with Veeam and get the following error:

Backing up file "[Storage3] ITC-Veeam/ITC-Veeam-flat.vmdk" BackupDisk failed Client error: Failed to open VDDK disk [[Storage3] ITC-Veeam/ITC-Veeam.vmdk] ( is read-only mode - [true] ) Failed to open VMDK. Logon attempt with parameters [VC/ESX: [192.168.100.9];Port: 443;Login: [DOMAIN\administrator];VMX Spec: [moref=vm-11053];Snapshot mor: [snapshot-11190];Transports: [nbd]] failed because of the following errors: Server error: End of file

TIA, Larry

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by StanO » Jan 06, 2010 11:53 pm

From page 7 of the Veeam Backup and Replication 4.1 Release Notes (second bullet under Backup and Replication):

Virtualized Veeam Backup server cannot backup, replicate or copy itself with jobs usingvStorage API “Virtual Appliance” mode.

When exploring the Virtual Appliance method myself, I considered that a second backup appliance may be able to accomplish backups for the first appliance, though re-reading the limitation, perhaps it could be accomplished using Network mode for backing up that specific VM only.

Stan

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by Gostev » Jan 07, 2010 12:40 am

With any backup mode, Veeam Backup would freeze itself during the snapshot creation and will not be able to complete the required operations. But of course you can always backup Veeam Backup VM with another Veeam Backup install.

Instead of backing up Veeam Backup VM, what you really want to backup is its configuration data stored in SQL. Ideally, you should use remote SQL server, and backup/replicate that SQL VM instead. Now, if you loose Veeam Backup VM, reinstallation takes a few minutes, and you just point it to the existing SQL. In many cases, this is even faster that restoring a VM :)

larry@deeder.com
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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by larry@deeder.com » Jan 07, 2010 12:44 am

I made the change that Stan recommended, and the backup is running fine. It is at 25%. I will update this post with the final results. Thanks for the direction Stan.

Gostev
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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by Gostev » Jan 07, 2010 12:58 am

If you are at 25%, that means that snapshot created fine - so it sounds like you do not have Veeam VSS enabled :) that is another option, but may this may potentially result in issues with SQL Express on Veeam Backup VM.

larry@deeder.com
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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by larry@deeder.com » Jan 07, 2010 1:08 am

I believe that if the snapshot succeds and VSS is not used, I have a good backup. Any transactions made during the backup bay be lost, but I can deal with that. At least that is how Visioncore (vRanger) explaned it to me.

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by Gostev » Jan 07, 2010 10:56 am

They say this only because they do not have the VSS integration. In reality, it is quite dangerous to backup SQL without Veeam VSS, I've explained this in more details here.

One thing I would definitely do is disable VMware Tools quiescence in the Advanced job settings of Veeam Backup job. SQL backup may not be good, but at least in this case your production VM will not be affected.

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by matthadley » Apr 09, 2010 6:42 pm

Ok, here is a question on this complex subject.

I want to backup the VM Guest that contains both vCenter and Veeam Backup and Replication

Assumptions:
* vCenter running as a VM guest.
* Veeam Backup and Repcication running on the same VM guest.
* Veeam Backup connected to the vCenter to track and communciate with the ESX servers.
* A second, separate VM guest is created and Veeam Backup and Replication is installed thereon.

Question: Should I connect the second copy of the Veeam Backup and Replication to the vCenter console or directly to the ESX host on which that console operates? Normally, VM doesn't want one to connect directly to a guest that is managed by vCenter. That said, I am not sure if this is a good exception or not -- or if it even matters.

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by Gostev » Apr 09, 2010 6:55 pm

Matt, the only way to backup vCenter VM with VSS enabled is to configure job via ESX host. If you configure the job through vCenter, the job will be timing out when VM freeze happens (because vCenter is unable to process API calls being "frozen"). Thanks!

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by matthadley » Apr 09, 2010 6:59 pm

That is what I thought, but I wasn't 100% sure. Thanks!

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by matthadley » Apr 13, 2010 2:34 pm

Ok, ready for another sanity check on this one ...

Here is my setup:

HOST-A - Dell R710 with 8TB Direct-attached Storage
*************************************************************************
Running Guest A0 - Veeam Backup and Replication
Running Guest A1 - Production server applications
Running Guest A2 - Production server applications
Standby Guest B0-Replica

HOST-B - Dell R710 with 8TB Direct-attached Storage
*************************************************************************
Running Guest B0 - VMware vCenter and Veeam Backup and Replication
Standby Guest A1-Replica
Standby Guest A2-Replica

VEEAM REPLICATION
The sole purpose of Guest A0 is to replicate Guest B0 on HOST-B every 30 minutes. AO's Veeam console is directly connected to HOST-B, outside of vCenter.
All other replication tasks occur on B0 and are scheduled at varied intervals based upon the time-sensitivity of the data contained in the guests.

OBJECTIVE
This is intended to be a simple, low-budget model to minimize data loss in the event of a catastrophic failure of either VMware host.

HOST-A will contain the primary production servers. Should HOST-A fail, the regular Veeam console will already be running on HOST-B and will allow us to failover to whatever version is most appropriate. Once HOST-A has been rebuilt, we would follow the guidance found at http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... Y+SNAPSHOT on saving data captured on the failover guests and then decide how best to move the production copies back on to HOST-A

In the event HOST-B fails, we continue to operate our production environment and recreate or rehabilitate HOST-B. While the replica of Guest B0 may not have much value if HOST-B fails, it would be useful if we had run any backups or replications back to another location on HOST-A or to another, non-HOST-B location.

Thoughts?

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by Gostev » Apr 13, 2010 4:29 pm

Looks good to me.

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Re: Backing up the backup server

Post by TrevorBell » Apr 13, 2010 4:33 pm

Always have Dell 4 hour mission critical support on your servers too.. :)

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